Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!


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Mentally ill workers need communism, not captivity  

BAY AREA, August 6—Capitalism is nuts, and it drives us nuts, too—if we don’t fight it. After months of strife, the City of San Francisco passed a racist and anti-working class law to curb its homeless population, a problem that was generated by capitalism. The Conservatorship Law will take “guardianship” over the mentally ill homeless people. This law reveals how capitalism is a system of dictatorship. Progressive Labor Party and other fighters are struggling for workers to one day be rulers of our own fortune. Only communism provides the conditions to make that dream possible.
City creates & exacerbates crisis
For a decade, San Francisco hosted billionaire tech firms tax-free, and let the resulting sky-high rents enrich developers while throwing thousands into the streets. The City took $40 million from mental health and substance abuse treatment budgets. They harassed homeless people sitting on sidewalks or pitching tents against the rain. They had used water trucks to spray on people sleeping in doorways on winter nights. Now, tent encampments are encroaching on rich areas, and the City has suddenly “discovered” there’s a crisis in homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse. This crisis was created by the business-as-usual capitalist neglect for working-class needs.
The City’s response? A Conservatorship Law. Mentally ill people in the streets will be placed in a locked ward to receive intensive psychiatric care for up to a year.  Court hearings could renew these one-year terms indefinitely. “Once you’re fully conserved, you lose the right to live alone, choose your doctor, access your bank accounts, own a pet, or communicate with the outside world. The ACLU calls conservatorship ‘the greatest deprivation of civil liberties aside from the death penalty’” (SF Weekly, 6/5).
Capitalism is the real crime
Homeless people, seniors, people with disabilities, and protesters—who were focused on ending police violence and mass incarceration—united to fight this Conservatorship Law. The police, not mental healthcare workers, oversee this “intervention.” The reform demands are full-service supportive housing and mental health/substance abuse care. Much like how they deal with migration, the bosses’ system has turned the workers into criminals. The real crime is capitalism, not the people who try to survive it.
Everyone involved could see that capitalism is the cause of every aspect of this crisis: gentrification, rent gouging, displacement and evictions, police terror and the criminalization of poverty, budget cuts, and a vicious media campaign denying the humanity of capitalism’s victims. It was also clear that capitalism is causing people’s alienation, and that substance abuse is a horrific coping mechanism.
Communism is the cure
We want communism, where the working class owns and runs society, but also so everyone’s potential is recognized and their contribution is encouraged. We will never solve the housing crisis through reform, because its primary goal is opposite of the solution. Capitalism is a system of profit and power that can only come from exploiting and dividing people. Communism is a system of collectivity and power that can only come from putting the needs of the entire working class as the main determinant of societal decisions.
Prevention, not punishment
The protesters’ demands include street-corner micro-clinics, and 24-hour neighborhood clinics staffed with both mental health workers and counselors with personal experience of living on the streets and mental illness, and no cops. These demands are in accord with public health research and recommendations, including the recently passed resolution of the American Public Health Association and the San Francisco Health Commission on treating incarceration as a public health issue.San Francisco has a history of fighting back: protesters and mental and public health practitioners have demanded prevention, not punishment. They defeated building a new jail, which would have been filled with people charged with low-level nuisance “crimes,” allowing the City to sweep the streets with several hundred newly hired cops. They also defeated building a “mental health jail,” a tactic now being used across the country to re-brand the prison-industrial complex to make it seem like people will get treatment.
The City’s own data shows that 70 percent of the city’s homeless are formerly San Francisco renters. Displaced workers’ current mental health stressors are usually the result of living on the street, rather than the cause.
Fight continues
Although the Conservatorship Law passed, we grew in class-consciousness. At first, hardly anyone dared question this law. Now, many do and others will follow us as this battle spreads through California. We are in the middle of a public health and mental health crisis. How do communists and workers meet the challenge of waging these battles with a long-term view? Our challenge is helping our group see communist revolution and working-class power as the answer to these questions.

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